Lake Houston Wilderness Park
Located within the East Montgomery County Improvement District boundaries, this 5,000-acre wooded park includes overnight camping and an abundance of wildlife.
Despite its name, the park does not have lake access, but there is access to river and creeks from the park’s 12 miles of hike and bike trails. Rustic tent camping and group lodges with fireplaces tempt visitors to indulge in a weekend getaway. Hiking and horseback riding are popular activities.
22031 Baptist Encampment Road, New Caney 77357-7731
Phone: (281) 354-6881
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Galveston Island State Park
Just 90 minutes away, this large seaside park spans the distance from the Gulf of Mexico to Galveston Bay. The park offers camping and a variety of outdoor activities, from surf splashing to kayaking, beach combing and fishing. Stroll a nature trail in the evening for bird watching and wildlife viewing or wake up to watch the sun rise over the ocean on a clear morning.
14901 FM 3005
Phone: (409) 737-1222
Huntsville State Park
Constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps in 1937, Huntsville State Park is located among the loblolly and shortleaf pine trees of the Sam Houston National Forest. The park boasts an extensive trail system, and equestrian stables are conveniently located on site. The park also has a 210-acre lake, Lake Raven, with canoes for rent, and plentiful animal and bird life. Tours are also available.
P.O. Box 508
Phone: (936) 295-5644
Lake Livingston State Park
Located on the shores of a huge 84,800 surface-acre lake , this Southeast Texas park is an angler's delight. The Trinity River white bass run in January attracts thousands. Catfish are plentiful and in 1976, a 114-pound flathead set a state record. The Lake Livingston Stables offers a terrestrial alternative to water-based activities – horseback trail riding in the pines by the hour. Or take a packaged trip that includes meals. Although the park has a wide-range of campsites, including unique shelters, some of which are ADA accessible. An air-conditioned activity center for up to 100 is welcome in the summer heat, as is a cool plunge into the park's crystal clear pool.
300 State Park Road 65
Phone: (936) 365-2201
Sam Houston National Forest WMA
The Sam Houston National Forest WMA has 161,508 acres with 47,609 acres in Montgomery County, 59,746 acres in San Jacinto County, and 54,153 acres in Walker County. The national forests in Texas were established by an act of the Texas legislature in 1933 that authorized the purchase of lands for the national forest system. The WMA is operated under a Memorandum of Agreement with the US Forest Service. Fishing, trapping, and public hunting of white-tailed deer, feral hog, waterfowl, dove, other migratory game birds, squirrel, quail, rabbits, hares, predators, furbearers, and frogs permitted. Other outdoor recreation opportunities include camping, hiking, bicycling, and wildlife viewing. Primitive and developed designated campsites are available.
- Fishing - On the northeast boundary of the forest lies the 82,600-acre Lake Livingston. Lake Conroe, to the southwest, offers 22,000 acres of water-oriented recreation. Both lakes are noted for black bass and year round fishing. The Forest Service provides three access points to Lake Conroe. A boat slip on the San Jacinto River near Stubblefield Recreation Area north on the lake, a boat ramp along the northeastern shore of Lake Conroe at Cagle Recreation Area, and another boat ramp is at Scotts Ridge on the southwestern shore of the lake.
- Hunting - The entire Sam Houston National Forest is designated as a wildlife management area through a cooperative agreement between Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and the U.S. Forest Service. This special designation provides benefits to those who use the Sam Houston National Forest , including hunters, and to the wildlife that live or forage there. Extra fees paid by hunters who use wildlife management areas are collected by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and are returned to the Forest Service for use in those areas. These funds pay for a variety of programs to improve wildlife habitat and other enhancement programs such as wild turkey restoration, creation of wildlife openings and additional law enforcement. They can also be used to gather and analyze data to improve wildlife habitat. Those who wish to hunt deer or small game in the Sam Houston National Forest must purchase the appropriate wildlife management area hunting permit available where state hunting license are sold. Hunters and those who accompany them must wear hunter orange while hunting with a firearm in the Sam Houston National Forest. Hunters and fishermen are required to have a Texas license and follow State regulations.
- Boating - Both Lake Conroe and Lake Livingston offer fine pleasure boating and water sports. Lake Conroe and the southern section of Lake Livingston offer open water for sailing.
PO Box 868
Livingston, TX 77351
Phone: (936) 327-8487
Big Thicket National Preserve
The Preserve consists of nine land units and six water corridors encompassing more than 97,000 acres. Big Thicket was the first Preserve in the National Park System established October 11, 1974, and protects an area of rich biological diversity.
A convergence of ecosystems occurred here during the last Ice Age. It brought together, in one geographical location, the eastern hardwood forests, the Gulf coastal plains, and the midwest prairies.
December 15, 1981, the Preserve was designated an International Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Man and the Biosphere Program.
July 26, 2001, the American Bird Conservancy recognized the Preserve as a Globally Important Bird Area joining thousands of others around the world.
Operating Hours & Seasons
- Preserve Headquarters is open 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Monday through Friday
- Closed on all government holidays
The Preserve Visitor Center is open 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily. It is closed on Christmas and New Year's.